Classy sprinter Mahisara will have to defy the top-weight of 59kg and the outside barrier to win the Listed 2013 Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Mahisara has had just two starts this preparation but has performed well; finishing a fair fifth behind Richie’s Vibe in the Listed MSS Security Sprint (1200m) before defeating a strong field to win the Group 3 Sandown Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on November.
The More Than Ready entire is the class galloper in the field, having won the Sandown Stakes on two occasions, won the Listed Centenary Classic (1400m) and finished in the placings in the Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m), but will still need plenty of luck to record his fourth win at black type level.
Morning Captain is second in the weights at 58kg and is arguably the in-form galloper in the Lough Neagh Stakes field, having finishing in the placings in all five of his race starts since returning to the races in October.
The Danbird gelding finished second behind Rocket To Glory in the Nairn Constructions Handicap (1200m) at Doomben and was runner-up again in the Kartaway Miniskips Handicap (1200m) before breaking through for a deserved win in the Padua College Handicap (1300m) at Eagle Farm on November 2.
Morning Captain stepped-up to Listed level for the Keith Noud Handicap (1200m) at Eagle Farm on November 23 and finished an impressive third behind Better Than Ready and Benny’s Buttons before being narrowly denied victory by Lucky Hussler in the Group 3 George Moore Stakes (1200m) just under a fortnight ago.
Lucky Hussler will have the opportunity to record a second straight win and will carry 56kg from barrier number four with leading Brisbane jockey Michael Cahill on his back.
The Husson gelding only received a run in the George Moore Stakes due to the scratching of pre-race favourite Cape Kidnappers but he took his opportunity to record his second victory at Group level after winning the Vo Rogue Plate during his summer campaign last year.
Lucky Hussler will face the likes of Startsmeup, Steel Zip, Phelan Ready and Doubtfilly again in the Lough Neagh Stakes but will also need to overcome Mishani Warrior who will be returning to the races for the first time since September.
Mishani Warrior had a successful winter campaign; winning the Mullins Lawyers Handicap (1200m), Yalumba Wines Handicap, Des Lambart Memorial Handicap (1350m) and C.P. Scott Plate (1350m) before finishing his preparation with a victory in the Thoroughbred Breeders Handicap (1300m).
The 2013 Lough Neagh Stakes final field is rounded out by Gundy Son, Biggles, Qfighter, Love Rocks and Renewed Vitality.